Have a Shark Encounter While Shrimping in Georgia

After my failed attempt to swim with sharks in Olowalu, I put the whole shark encounter idea on the back burner. And it was the furthest thing from my mind when we boarded the Lady Jane vessel to go shrimping in Georgia.

The Lady Jane is a Georgia shrimping boat that will take up to 49 passengers out on the water for a two hour hands-on shrimping excursion through the estuaries of St. Simons Sound.
Lady Jane Shrimping Boat

The weather that morning was an unusually brisk 50 degrees, but we all bundled up and headed out to the depths of the sea…or at least into the slightly offshore marshes.

The primary goal of the day was to catch the coveted Georgia white shrimp, a sweeter version of its West Coast cousin. Also known as…lunch. 

Though, we were warned that other varieties of sea creatures could be caught too. In my mind I was thinking along the lines of sweet little guppies and goldfish, not sharks.

After boating out for a few minutes we were called out on deck to watch them ‘lettin’ out the net’. It was a 15 foot one, though commercial shrimpers typically use something larger. The net had to troll for fifteen minutes before being pulled in. We all scurried to the heated inside cabin of the boat to wait.
Shrimping Net
Pulling the Shrimping Net

The hovering birds indicated that the ‘pullin’ up the net’ was happening and a dozen of us hurried outside of the shrimping boat cabin to rally for position.

Sea life was poking out from every hole of the netting, many of which were not Georgia shrimp. They emptied the contents onto a table and proceeded to fish through (pun intended) the contents, mentally classifying the catch.
Pulling in the Shrimping Net
The Shrimping Net Catch
The Catch While Shrimping

The mate then went through and identified each fish of our catch, my favorite being the stunning blue crab.

The tips of its claws were red indicating it was female. Even lady crabs like to look pretty.

Though the squid would have made for the perfect fried calamari, we were hunting shrimp. Couldn’t we deviate from the plan for a little fried calamari? There were also plenty of horseshoe crabs, butterfly ray, Atlantic spade fish and flounder.
Blue Crab Caught While Shrimping
Squid Caught While ShrimpingHorseshoe Crab Caught Shrimping

The captain did two trolls for shrimp, letting out and pulling up the net twice. Even though I was sure that we had to have seen every variety of fish in the first catch I was front row for the second one, this could be a once in a lifetime adventure and I didn’t want to miss any of it.

On the second troll for shrimp, we brought up a blunt nose shark. Not a guppy. Not a goldfish. A SHARK.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity of holding a shark. So, I kissed my fingers, hoping they would still be there after this experience, and volunteered.
Shark Caught While ShrimpingAnnette White Holding Shark

On the Lady Jane, what is caught gets released, including my new sharp-toothed friend, except for a portion of the shrimp that gets cooked for the guests of the tour.

Some that is thrown back survives, some does not. What dies feeds the other life in the water. They never pick up anything rotting, which tells you that they are used for food quickly.

After gathering all the shrimp needed for lunch, the beheading began, most of which was done by the staff. I did pop the head off of one shrimp and quickly decided that one was enough. The shrimp then hit the pot for a couple of minutes and were served with a side of cocktail sauce. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.
Georgia Shrimp CaughtCooked Georgia Shrimp

Have you ever been shrimping? Have you had a shark encounter?

Disclosure: This excursion was sponsored by Lady Jane Shrimping, but all the words I write come straight from my, sometimes distorted, mind. Just as it should be.




2017-03-11T09:37:00+00:00 November 12th, 2012|Categories: Georgia, North America, TRAVEL|Tags: , |

14 Comments

  1. Golfzoo November 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    That little shark looks not scary. lol that blue crab must be very delicious!

  2. cosmoHallitan November 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    What an adventure! I may have to add this to my own bucket list!

  3. Juliann November 13, 2012 at 7:30 am - Reply

    How cool! I think it would be so neat to go shrimping, but I do NOT want to be the one to snap their heads off and I do NOT want to catch a shark.
    I go to Georgia pretty often since my son lives there. I'll have to remember this.

  4. Allison November 17, 2012 at 5:39 am - Reply

    What a great picture of you holding the shark! I love it- now that is a picture that deserves a large place on your wall- very cool!! 
     
    Both things are on my list! 🙂 

  5. Allison November 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Ha! I'm with you on the skydiving! I'm so glad I did it but I could NEVER do it again!! I think that's how I developed my anxiety to fly….I know what feels Like to fall from an airplane- its terrifying! 

  6. Dave November 18, 2012 at 6:53 am - Reply

    Love the joke about the lady crab.
    Horse shoe crabs are scary looking!

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  9. Kerry June 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    All I could think of as I read this was Forrest Gump. 🙂 I don’t blame her. If I were a lady blue crab I would have red tips too. I love red. Thanks for sharing. I wouldn’t want to remove shrimp heads either. 🙂

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